The idea for this project originally had the title “Real Liberal” and it was meant to be a YouTube channel. The title and the medium (for now) are different, but at the core, most things are still the same.
I made the first website in a rush of inspiration, but later found the “real liberal” to have an arrogant connotation. When I use such a term, I am referring to classic liberalism, but do I want to claim to have the “real” definition for such a lofty and historical set of ideas? No. So, that name had to go, so too did the mindset.
I cannot claim to know everything. I don’t read enough to even say I know a lot. I know some and I want to know more, but what I am sure of is my biases. Hence, the new title of this blog, “Liberty Bias.” I have learned to recognize that while my political beliefs, in my opinion, are based on evidence and reason, they are also tied up very much with my identity; I like to be a libertarian and piss off both sides in the process (hopefully you noted the screaming dudes in the logo). Because this is true, and I would argue it is true of everyone, new ideas scare my brain, especially if they push what I had already thought to be true. The goal of “Liberty Bias” then is to help suppress my natural cognitive dissonance when I am confronted with these new, scary ideas. We’ll see how successful I am at that. The first blog post (“article” in my mind) will be published soon, and it will be about the philosophical nature of rights, especially in the context of social programs (watch out Bernie fans), so I hope you’ll come back for that. (NOTE: The second blog post turned out to be in honor of July 4. The “rights” post is still coming soon though.)
For now, what I want to do is share with you the manuscript for the introductory episode of the what would have been “Real Liberal Show.” I think it’ll shed some light on me, on what I want to do, and who I am.
Below is the aforementioned manuscript.
Hi! Welcome to the new channel “Real Liberal!”
My name is John Osterhoudt. I’m the founder of this channel and of its companion, RealLiberalShow.com. I am also a director of film and theatre, a musician, a photographer, among other things. I aspire to create art with Liberal principles at the core. No, not political propaganda, but well-crafted stories that are inspired by what is important to me.
I created this channel with a difficult goal in mind. To reclaim the word “Liberal” for those who believe in true Liberalism. To own and run a channel called “Real Liberal,” actually makes me a bit queasy in and of itself, but that’s probably a sign that I’m doing the right thing here. If you enjoy Orwell like I do, you know that language matters, words matter. Each word exists for a reason and is meant to communicate specific and important information, and I intend to have them used appropriately. Of course, that applies to many, many words and ideas today, but we’ll get into all that as the channel develops. Newspeak is a dangerous trend. Jake, myself, and hopefully you, are here to fight it.
If you’re still wondering exactly what I mean by Liberal… I mean exactly what the word implies. Liberty. That means individualism (that is judging people as individuals, not by their collective identities) (This is what MLK meant when he dreamt of his children being Judged by the content their character and not by the color of their skin). I mean free-speech and free-thinking. I mean a government whose main, and maybe even only, duty is to protect each person’s inalienable rights. The list continues on, but if this sounds familiar, that is because the USA is founded on these principles. Yes, principles. I believe they’re crucial to intellectual honesty.
This is what is generally referred to now as classical liberalism. And that’s fine, but really, it’s just liberalism. And, to me, that’s important. You’ll hear me make a clear distinction between “Liberal” and “Leftist” quite often. Liberal being the things I’ve laid out and will unpack and learn about on this channel. And “leftist” meaning “Progressive” meaning actually the “regressive left” as one of my political pundit role models Dave Rubin often calls it. They shut down conversation and disagreement. You can look to UC Berkley for a specific example. They are, in my opinion, authoritarians of the highest order. These types of people and those who came before are the ones who I aim to take back the word Liberal from, as they are in no way, liberals. They are the group that pushes for all sorts of collectivism. It’s the group that does judge people by their unchanging exterior qualities, like race, not character.
Good character knows no exterior or unchanging quality. It knows no race, no gender, no sexual orientation, nothing. The individual is the building block of everything, and therefore it is necessary for any free society to judge each person by what they, as individuals, do.
The goal is to stand up for what I think is good and right. And hope, in the process, to learn more about the world and about myself.
And before anyone jumps down my throat for lumping these people into a group together and not judging them individually, I am and will judge each person accordingly, but for now I will say that life is a profoundly complex thing. And people, too, are profoundly complex. There are exceptions to every rule, and there are people of great character everywhere. I will continue to hold true to that, but you will not hear me giving too many disclaimers about such exceptions, as that is a given, especially when individualism is one of the main tenets of my work here.
With all that being stated, what exactly will be on this channel and on the website? Jake and I are still working out the exact details, and will continue to be doing so for a long time, but for now the plan is for Real Liberal to feature commentary by myself, Jake, and others, the occasional rant, interviews, maybe films or videos I create, educational content, entertainment content, and anything else that comes up. The only real requirement is that it’s made with Liberal principles in mind. The current open-endedness will not dissuade us from putting as much content out as soon and as fast as we can. We care deeply about the principles at hand, and we know that the only way to make this happen is to just put in the work and do it.
So thank you, for being here with us from the very beginning. I cannot thank you enough for the present and future support. I’m so ready to get to work and to start exploring and learning. If you feel the same way, please go ahead and subscribe to Real Liberal and share the channel. I promise that I will make it very worth your time.
In love and liberty,
John Osterhoudt (2/4/2017)